With more states adopting the Common Core State Standards, it can be overwhelming for U.S. schools and teachers to consider "adding" anything else. But character education isn't about adding, it's about integrating with all that you already do. In a new position paper from whole child partner Character Education Partnership, authors Kristin Fink and Karen Geller make the case that the Common Core State Standards are good for education, but Common Core integrated with character education is even better.
As a former Air Force squadron commander and Vice Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Academy, believe me, I had already been through a lifetime's worth of leadership training when I moved into the civilian sector as a K–12 school superintendent in 2002. Looking back, however, I must admit that the most challenging leadership issues I have ever faced easily occurred in the last decade.
Every school has a culture. Some are positive, while others are toxic; many are somewhere in between. A school's culture affects the lives of everyone in the building. Educators working in a positive school culture (PDF) experience collegiality, trust, and tangible support as leaders and peers, creating an environment where there are high expectations, involvement in decision making, and open communication. Students entering a positive school culture feel safe, engaged, and connected and see school as a place where they can learn and contribute to the world around them.